by Mat Callahan and Yvonne Moore
The most essential music is conceived by real human beings: ordinary, anonymous, often poor—people who stood up and joined together to fight injustice and institutional oppression. This is the story of Working-Class Heroes, a collection of American working-class, pre–World War II folk songs revived by Mat Callahan & Yvonne Moore. Here the duo presents 20 songs written by both by folk canon heavyweights and lesser-known but equally gifted songwriters . Both beautiful and emotionally arresting, the album is a collection of stories as much as songs—stories of the women and men who (sometimes literally) gave their lives to emancipate the working class.
Heroes featured in this collection: Sarah Ogan Gunning, Ralph Chaplin, Woody Guthrie, Ella May Wiggins, Joe Hill, Paul Robeson, John Handcox, Aunt Molly Jackson, Jim Garland, and several more anonymous proletarian songwriters, whose names have been long forgotten but their words immortalized.
Mat Callahan is a musician and author originally from San Francisco. Recent projects include the republication of Songs of Freedom by Irish revolutionary James Connolly, the recording and publication of Working-Class Heroes, and the launch of the multimedia project Songs of Slavery and Emancipation. He is the author of five books including, in 2017, The Explosion of Deferred Dreams (PM Press) and A Critical Guide to Intellectual Property (Zed Books).
Yvonne Moore is a singer and bandleader originally from Schaffhausen. In addition to recording numerous albums of her own music, Moore is cofounder and treasurer of the Art in History and Politics Association, whose purpose is to discover, publish, and popularize music, graphic art, and texts created by participants in conflicts such as the struggle to abolish slavery. Her exploration of the songs of Sarah Ogan Gunning led to the making of Working-Class Heroes.